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Old 07.06.2012, 16:35
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Freelance Translator

Hi there

If all goes well I will attend an MA in Translation Studies (Portsmouth University UK DL)... Languages being German English and French.

There is just this one thing bugging me: Will I be able to make a living by being a translator? Does an MA in Translation Studies increase my job opportunities???

Looking forward to getting some feedback here...

C
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Old 07.06.2012, 16:41
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Re: Freelance Translator

I did the same course (French and Spanish). Just a word of warning - it is BLOOMIN' HARD! However, I did learn a lot.

Why are you posting on a Swiss forum? Are you looking to find work here specifically after you finish? I moved for "love" to a town where translation is not high on the list of demands. I get the odd bit of work here and there (am currently in the middle of one) but it is not my main source of income.

I think I'm probably right in stating that British MAs don't hold as much value as Swiss ones (in Switzerland, obviously). I was lucky that my boss recognised that it is another level of education and started me off on a higher starting salary than normal because of it. I'm not sure you'd get as lucky with other employers.

If you have any questions about the course, the staff etc then please don't hesitate to PM me. I'll be happy to help.
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Old 07.06.2012, 17:33
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Re: Freelance Translator

In my experience it's easier to make a killing than to make a living.

That is, for a while I had a number of sources and made some nice money. One of them paid a tad over 3 Fr. per line on a couple 15-20 page documents. That was sweet, and I got to thinking that I could make a very nice living doing that. But those sources gradually dried up, and I didn't manage to find new ones.

Of course, I wasn't looking very hard - I've only ever moonlighted as a translator and editor. At the time, some other parts of my life were also picking up, so I let it go and just accepted whatever work turned up. But my impression is that drumming up business can be difficult.

Also: So you look hard and suddenly, after a long dry stretch, you get offered a job, only it isn't in your realm of expertise ... Do you take the risk?

(The ideal translator is not necessarily someone with strong qualifications as a translator but someone who knows the topic like the back of their hand. 12-13 years ago I did some legal work after making it absolutely clear that I wasn't trained in law and that my translation would NOT be fluent legalese. We ended up in a nasty fight after the client decided that my non-legalese translation wasn't good enough, and they wanted their money back, and damages too, and I'd ruined their life and endangered their career, and they bet I'd even lied about being a native speaker, etc.)

Anyway, I'd a say freelance translating is best as a sideline.
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Old 07.06.2012, 23:44
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Re: Freelance Translator

Something else you'll learn on this particular course - often translators are more desirable if they're trained in the specialied subject and speak another language rather than being trained in translation itself.
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